Gogo's Faster WiFi Aims To Improve In-Flight Internet Access - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Life
Commentary
5/6/2016
01:05 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
50%
50%

Gogo's Faster WiFi Aims To Improve In-Flight Internet Access

Gogo is deploying its 2Ku satellite-based in-flight WiFi service on select airlines to provide passengers with a faster browsing experience while in the air.

6 Secrets 100 Winning IT Organizations Share
6 Secrets 100 Winning IT Organizations Share
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Surfing the Web while flying the friendly skies is often a frustrating experience. Airplane-based WiFi is typically expensive, slow, and prone to disconnects. Gogo hopes to change both the reality and the perception of in-flight WiFi service with its next-generation technology, which is just now being adopted by select airlines.

When in-flight internet connectivity first debuted, it was hailed as a lifesaver for mobile professionals who needed to remain productive even when in the air. It didn't take long for business users and regular travelers alike to clog plane-based WiFi, degrading service. Gogo's first system, which relied on ground-based towers, delivered speeds up to about 10 Mbps.

Gogo's new system, known as 2Ku, relies on satellites, and it increases speeds to 70 Mbps.

(Image: Gogo)

(Image: Gogo)

That's faster service than what's available to some consumers' homes via DSL or cable. The beauty of 2Ku is that it was designed with an open framework, which makes it compatible with multiple satellite networks. Moreover, it can be updated easily to improve service when needed -- without requiring airlines to mess with their planes. Gogo also promises that 2Ku is more stable, a stability that translates to fewer disconnects.

Care to know the best part? Gogo isn't raising prices. The connection fee for typical flights will stay at $13.

[Read about JetBlue's WiFi plans for passengers.]

Delta Airlines; International Airline Group, parent of Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia Airlines; and Aeromexico have all agreed to adopt 2Ku.

Delta has already begun installing 2Ku on its fleets of 737 to 800 and A319 aircraft. So far, Delta has only put 2Ku on seven planes, but the company believes it will have 35 2Ku-equipped planes in the air by the end of 2016. The company said it will retrofit other planes over time. It plans to bring 2Ku to more than 600 aircraft.

"Delta customers have expressed an interest in their time in the air being as productive as their time on the ground, and 2Ku satellite offers a vastly upgraded in-flight WiFi experience," Tim Mapes, Delta's senior vice president and chief marketing officer, wrote in a statement.

"By committing to more aircraft with 2Ku technology, we're providing Delta customers with faster and more reliable inflight connectivity as a part of Delta's commitment to always delivering the industry's best on-board services."

The initial commitment from IAG isn't quite as big as Delta's. Aer Lingus will put 2Ku on four planes, while British Airways will install it on 118 aircraft, and Iberia will install it on 15 long-haul planes. The conglomerate eventually aims to retrofit 2Ku into 90% of its aircraft. 

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll